[DWJ] Best of 2017??

Stallcup, Jackie E jackie.stallcup at csun.edu
Tue Jan 17 22:18:15 EST 2017

Thank you everyone!  I have been adding and adding to my shopping basket and am looking forward to trying out these books.  After all, you are the collective brain that gave me Connie Willis, so I totally and utterly trust you!  Speaking of Willis, I read her new one this year:  Crosstalk.  I think I need to re-read it.  I enjoyed it, but I think her quirks as a writer are showing.  Not necessarily a bad thing, but a little distracting.  

I don't think anyone has mentioned yet one series that I read and enjoyed this year:  The Last Policeman by Ben Winters.  Maybe enjoyed is not the right word.  It's dark and not heartwarming, but very human.  I don't usually like dark, either, but I did like this.  The second book is Countdown City and the last one is World of Trouble.  Once I finished one, I HAD to get the next one and plunge back in.  A small, spoiler-ish note about the dog is at the bottom of this email.

I also read The Blondes by Emily Schultz.  Interesting.  I don't know that I want to re-read it, but I finished it.  It was ok.  

I have also discovered John Scalzi and decided that I adore his work.  This year, I read Lock In and Redshirts.   Actually, I've already read Redshirts twice.  Delightful!  Particularly fun if you like Star Trek.  And I re-read The Android's Dream--which is how I was introduced to Scalzi:  the title caught my eye because of the reference to Philip K. Dick.  I picked it up and was hooked.  

Here's a funny quirk for me in regard to John Scalzi.  Almost every book that I've read by him has a geographical bullseye for me:

Agent to the Stars:  a key plot event happens in Pomona, where I live, and the hospital that they take the character to is Pomona Valley, which is about a mile from my house, is where my in-laws have spent a fair amount of time, and is where my husband's life was saved many years ago.  I have been walking the corridors extensively for the past six months (in-law health issues) and thinking about this book.

Redshirts:  at one point, characters end up in a Burbank hotel.  As I was driving home from work the night after reading that point in the book, I realized I could see the hotel from the freeway.

Lock In:  the main character has to go to a condo complex in Glendora.  Again, the night after reading that passage, I drove right past it on my way home.  

Ha ha--if you know anything about LA geography you now know that I have a heck of a commute!

Anyway, thanks again for all of the recommendations!


Spoiler alert for the Last Policeman series:

If you hate to read books where the dog dies, I can assure you that the dog makes it all the way to the end in this one.  If he had killed the dog, I wouldn't have finished the series.  I know that is going to sound richly ironic given the premise and the outcome of the series, but still.  NO DEAD DOGS, please!  So that was ok

End spoilers

-----Original Message-----
From: Dwj [mailto:dwj-bounces at suberic.net] On Behalf Of Gin
Sent: Monday, January 16, 2017 6:22 PM
To: Diana Wynne Jones discussion <dwj at suberic.net>
Subject: Re: [DWJ] Best of 2017??

I am envious! Garth Nix Frogkisser is not actually published yet.
I do have Goldenhand waiting on my shelf to be read though.

Also enjoyed Uprooted (Novik), the new Penric Novellas ( Bujold) and Leckie.

Not new, but new to me, is the works of Janet Kagen (SF, but lingistics and good world building, which are often hallmarks of fantasy)

Enjoying peoples lists, thanks!

On 14 Jan 2017 9:15 AM, "Gili Bar-Hillel" <gbhillel at netvision.net.il> wrote:

> My favorite reads this past year - or maybe longer, I can't remember 
> exactly - in no particular order:
> Sherman, which I read back to back, and seemed to me to be having a 
> conversation with each other about HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE. But I know 
> from Twitter that neither author had read the other's book, though 
> both authors are definitely familiar with Diana Wynne Jones.
> Philip Reeve published BLACK LIGHT EXPRESS, his sequel to RAILHEAD, 
> which he describes as "DUNE meets THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE". Believe it. 
> I particularly enjoyed the first of these two, amazing worldbuilding, 
> but at times too sad.
> Reeve recommended SILO THE SEER by Veronica Peyton, an underrated 
> little gem.
> I think I've recommended MARS EVACUEES and SPACE HOSTAGES by Sophia 
> McDougall here: I just published a Hebrew edition of the first. 
> Fast-paced sci-fi with wit and a kind heart.
> An author to look out for is William Alexander. I've pretty much liked 
> everything of his I've read so far, whether it's his Goblin Secrets 
> fantasy books or his sci-fi, AMBASSADOR and sequel.
> Did I recommend CITY OF STAIRS last year? Had some interesting points 
> in common with the Dalemark books. And I must have recommended 
> SORCERER TO THE CROWN by Zen Cho. Delightful and very DWJish.
> A sweet, light middle grade book I liked was THE DRAGON WITH THE 
> CHOCOLATE HEART by Stephanie Burgis.
> I'm sure there were more that will occur to me as soon as I hit 
> "SEND". I should keep lists.
> Gili
> On Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 10:18 PM, hschinske--- via Dwj 
> <dwj at suberic.net>
> wrote:
> > I enjoyed the first two Noctis Magicae books by Sylvia Izzo Hunter, 
> > _The Midnight Queen_ and _Lady of Magick_ (do overlook the twee 
> > spelling of "magic"). Looking forward to the third. The Benjamin 
> > January series by Barbara Hambly is an enduring delight for me (some 
> > of it grim -- it's set in 1830s New Orleans). I also discovered 
> > Rebecca Solnit's nonfiction and
> am
> > planning to read more of it.
> >
> > Helen Schinske
> > _______________________________________________
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